4x4 Adventures Ltd Taunton, Somerset
Bampton Drive Round Day, 27th Mar 07
The day couldn't have been better, weather, company and conditions were all superb - although the water could have been a little deeper! Peter and Donna joined us for the day, each in a truck cab 90. Peter's a 19J running +2" OME and 255/85 BFG MTs, Donna's 300Tdi, with std suspension and 235/70s Colway MTs. Each had a HD Southdown front bumper and steering guard, snorkel and rear recovery points. With my recovery/lead vehicle this gave us a nice short 3 vehicle convoy.

Chris Watts and myself were in the hot seats for Peter and Donna giving advice and guidance as required. As the day progressed and they gained confidence in their own and the trucks ability there was less and less for us to do! Meanwhile Tony Cordell drove the recovery vehicle in case it would be needed! (it was!)

First off to a little quarry to gauge current driving abilities and work on the basics and to polish up previous skills. Donna had only had 1 days training prior to the day, courtesy of OEC Int, so this was going to be a sharp refresher with room for introduction and development of some advanced techniques.

We practised with a couple of drops, some of them we even saved for later in the day!

The short quarry drop proved as popular as ever, low 1st sometimes just has too much engine braking!
From there we headed across through waders corner and down to the river bed section. With little rain lately the level was slightly lower than usual but deep enough to have the desired effect!
After the river sections and interlinking tracks it was onto a couple more descents before stopping for a brief lunch and discussing the mornings progress.
Post lunch saw the first winch deployment. It was a very short but tricky climb out of a river bed with some strategically placed tree roots. This combined with the wet mud and water deposits from the two previous vehicles, meant the winch was deployed!
We then entered a long thin section of pine cover dropping down through some deep ruts, across several bridges before coming back to tarmac. Donna with 2" less clearance (due to tyres) struggled a little on this section with ground clearance although a winch was on hand as and when necessary.
After several more climbs and some good controlled descents in another quarry section it was time to head back to the start. We did pop into the first quarry just so that Donna could get that short sharp drop under her belt (in fact she did it at least 3 times in the end) this is evidence itself of her improvements made throughout the day.
Overall a very successful day, skills and confidence now fine tuned although unfortunately a little vehicle damage, (sill damage due to some debris in one of the water sections but nothing serious). My only apologies are co-driving for Peter I didn't manage to get many photos of his vehicle in action - sorry. In all about 20 miles covered throughout the course of the 6 hour day, and as the photos show all achievable in a nearly standard vehicle.

A video clip of the day out...